Today’s explainer is a serious one: We need to talk about nuclear weapons.
Considering Russian President Vladimir Putin’s continued threats to use nukes in Ukraine, it seems prudent to clarify what weapons we’re talking about, how they might be used, and what the U.S. government is likely doing to prevent their deployment.
One caveat: I’m not a nuclear weapons expert, and many of these details are necessarily complicated. My goal is to translate these details as best I can, not to frighten you but to inform you. Deliberate and careful consideration of the issue will allow all of us to think more clearly about this very serious challenge.
So, let’s start with the basics: What is a nuclear weapon?